SOG Sync Belt Buckle Review

Spencer Frazer, the man who founded SOG had a unique mission when he started his company. He had found the SOG Bowie knife, which is the knife that members of a highly classified US Special Ops unit carried. The knife had been designed for this specific group, MACV-SOG, because they were working on covert missions in the Vietnam jungles. Spencer’s mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. SOG Specialty Knives began as a single commemorative model but quickly expanded to become a full line of innovative tools. These tools are filed proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice. Now when you carry a SOG knife, you can carry it with confidence, knowing that it will stand up to the most extreme conditions and craziest adventures. SOG tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, and honed for you.

SOG has recently released a brand new series of multi tools. This series is called the Sync Belt Buck series. Right now, it has two separate multi tools called the Sync I and the Sync II. These will help you get almost any job done and are a fantastic addition to your tool collection.

 

The Steels:

The Tool Steel:

The steel that has been used for these multi tools is 5Cr15MoV stainless steel. This is a Chinese steel that comes from the Cr steel series. This is a low end steel, but because of that, it is very inexpensive. This inexpensive property is what helps to keep the cost of the entire tool down. This is a very soft steel that does not hold its edge for long periods of time. However, because of its softness, this steel is extremely easy to sharpen. This steel is widely used to make kitchen knives, high end scissors, folding knives, and hunting knives because it is very resistant to staining and rusting. The Rockwell Hardness on this steel is around a 54-56. However, the bigger the knife or tool is, the softer this steel will be.

The Handle Steel:

The handle is made out of a stainless steel. This is a very durable material for a handle material. Another major benefit of having a stainless steel handle is that it is very resistant to corrosion. However, stainless steel is a heavier material. Because the handle is made out of stainless steel, you are going to be able to feel your tool in your pocket or wherever you are keeping it. The stainless steel really does add a significant amount of weight. However, because the tool is on the smaller side, it’s not going to feel like a rock in your pocket, and will add some desired heftiness. One of the other drawbacks to stainless steel is that it is a pretty slippery material that does not provide you with exceptional grip. To combat this, SOG has added jimping along the sides of the handles when the tool is unfolded. There are also some etchings along the handles to help give you a good grip. All in all, SOG has worked with the stainless steel very well and you will be able to have a secure grip on it at all times.

 

The Finishes:

The tool and handle steel have been finished with a bead blasted finish. This finish is created by blasting small ceramic or glass beads at the steel with a high pressure. This finish creates an even gray finish. This finish works to reduce reflections and glares because it does create an even matte surface. However, because the bead blasting does create micro abrasions in the steel, the tool will be more likely to rust or corrode. Because of this, you do need to make sure that you are maintaining and up keeping this tool or else it will rust.

 

The Purposes/Design:

The Syncs are multi tools that have been designed to be easily worn. The Syncs have a detachable base that can be worn as a belt buckle or even clipped onto a backpack or boot. Because of the design, you can be sure to always have your multi tool with you. You can easily detach the tool with only one hand, but it will stay locked and secure when it has been clipped on and is not needed.

 

The Designer:

Spencer Frazer is the man behind SOG. He just so happens to also be the head designer. Since he was a young kid, he has always bene interested in the way that the world works. When he was in boy scouts, he gained an interest for knives and axes, but he never really considered making them a career until much later. He graduated with a math and science major and actually began his own company in the professional audio industry. This is when he learned to work with different materials and build models and prototypes. He went on to work in the aerospace defense industry as a R&D tool/die and model maker. Around the same time as that, he became involved in the modern art movement and met many of the top artists. During this time of his life, he learned a lot about scale and color. He says that he felt like all of his life experiences converged the moment that he saw the Vietnam SOG Bowie knife. This is the knife that encouraged him to start his own company as a knife designer. Since then, he has designed hundreds of innovative, ground breaking tools.

 

The Sync I:

The Specs:

This product originated in china. It has a closed length of 2.4 inches and weighs in at 2.6 ounces. This multi tool sports 11 different tools. The Sync I fits belts up to 1 3/8 inches.

The Tools:

  1. The Awl:

The awl comes out of the left side of the handle when the tool has been unfolded. This tool comes out of the butt of the handle. An awl is a long, pointed spike that can be used for making holes in wood or making markings on wood.

  1. The Blade:

The blade on this tool is located at the butt of the left side of the handle. This is a straight edged blade.

  1. The Bolt/Nut Gripper:

This tool is located at the top of the unfolded tool, right in the center. The pliers actually make up the framing for this tool.

  1. The Bottle Opener:

The bottle opener is located at the butt of the right side of the handle. The jewelry driver actually extends off of the bottle opener.

  1. The Crimpers:

The crimpers are located right in between the two handles, but is on the lower end, under the pliers. Crimpers are often used for fishing. This is a quick and reliable method for making joins in monofilament and cable.

  1. The File:

The file is a three sided file that folds out of the butt of the right handle. At the end of the file. There is a flat screwdriver.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

At the butt of the right handle, where the file folds out, there is a flat screwdriver. This screwdriver is in a size small.

  1. The Jewelry Driver:

This tool also extends out of the butt of the right handle. This specific tool is at the tip of the bottle opener.

  1. The Pliers:

The Pliers are located at the very top of the Sync 1 when it is unfolded.

  1. The Ruler:

When this tool is unfolded, the ruler goes up the inside of the two handles. Each of the sides carries about 2.4 inches. When you extend the ruler and make it into one long stick, it spans a little over 5 inches long.

  1. The Wire Cutter:

The last tool that this multi tool sports is the wire cutter. This wire cutter can cut through soft wire. It is located at the top of the tool when it is unfolded. The wire cutters lie directly below the bolt and nut gripper.

The Sync I has been designed to give you the tools that you need on a daily basis. This tool will be able to get you through your daily life whether you are encountering the expected or the unexpected.

 

The Sync II:

The Specs:

This tool originated in China. It has a closed length of 3.1 inches long, an overall length of 5.8 inches long, and weighs 5 ounces. The Sync II sports 12 different tools. This tool fits belts up to 1 ¾ inches wide.

The Tools:

  1. The Blade:

The blade is located at the butt of the right handle. This is a straight edge blade.

  1. The Bolt/Nut Gripper:

The bolt/nut gripper is located at the top of the unfolded tool. It is made up of the pliers.

  1. The Bottle Opener:

This tool folds out of the inner side of the right handle. At the top of the bottle opener, there is a flat screwdriver.

  1. The Crimpers:

The crimpers are located in between the two handles. Crimpers are often used in fishing, to make joins in lines or cords.

  1. The File:

The file is a three sided file. It folds out of the butt of the right handle and is attached to the small flat screwdriver.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

This flat screwdriver is located on the bottle opener, and folds out of the inner side of the right handle. This screwdriver is in a size medium.

  1. The Flat Screwdriver:

This flat screwdriver is in a size small. It folds out of the butt of the right handle and is connected to the end of the file.

  1. The Phillips Screwdriver:

This screwdriver folds out of the butt of the left handle.

  1. The Pliers:

The pliers are located at the top of the unfolded tool. These pliers are needle nosed pliers.

  1. The Ruler:

The ruler extends on both of the inner sides of the handles. When the tool is closed, each side of the handle has bout three and a half inches. However, you can unfold the tool so that the ruler lines up. When you unfold the tool in that manner, the ruler will measure 7 inches.

  1. The Scissors:

The scissors are located on the left side of the handle, where they fold out of the butt.

  1. The Wire Cutters:

The wire cutters are located at the top of the unfolded tool. The cutters lie at the bottom portion of the pliers, directly under the nut/bolt gripper. These are soft wire cutters.

The Sync II has been equipped with a selection of frequently used components that are available at a moment’s notice to save the day anytime and anywhere.

 

Conclusion:

SOG is a reliable company that you will help you carry their products with confidence. Their tools have been US Special Forces approved and have even been honored as the knife of the year. The tools are built and designed to stand up to the roughest of environments and the most extreme of situations. They have been built to help you lead, protect, save, and have fun while doing it. They use high quality materials to complete the high quality designs that Spencer Frazer has introduced to the world. They just released a brand new line of multi tools called the Belt Buckle Sync series, and it will change the way you do everyday life.

They looked at the common dilemma of forgetting your tool or knife and designed a multi tool that you can wear at all times. This belt buckle design has a detachable base, so you can also attach it to a boot or pack strap. The Sync I and II can fit on belts up to 1 ¾ inch wide. The tools that SOG chose to incorporate on the two are tools that you can use frequently in a variety of different scenarios. This tool will be a great investment that will constantly pay itself off when you encounter the unexpected.

 

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SOG Vision ARC Knife Review

The story about SOG knife company begins long before there was even the thought of SOG knife company. This story begins in Vietnam, with a highly classified US Special ops unit. The unit was known as MACV-SOG, and the members had to carry a unique combat knife into the jungle on covert missions. It was years later that Spencer Frazer, a young knife designer, founded SOG Specialty Knives. The year was 1986 and his mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. SOG Knife Company began as a single commemorative model, but quickly became a full line of innovative tools. These tools are field proven by US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. So whether you are protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG. These tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you.

Spencer Frazer is the founder of this company as well as the chief designer. He has said, “SOG started some 25 years ago in my apartment with a simple mission: to create innovative products that stand apart from the pack. While SOG has grown, our commitment to that original mission has remained the same. Today, it’s one of my greatest satisfactions to receive letters from SOG enthusiasts the world over, expressing the fact that our products have lived up to their highest standards. IT inspires us to continue to build superior products that last… knives and tools that help you meet the challenges of a demanding world.”

Recently, SOG has released a new knife called the Vision Arc. This knife lives up to the SOG reputation and will be able to assist you through the challenges of your life.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is forged out of VG 10 steel. This is a well-known, high end Japanese steel. It is considered to be a premium level steel. The G in the name stands for “gold”, which refers to the “gold standard” that his level of stainless steel is considered to have met. This steel has been designed for high quality blades and is often used in Japanese cutlery. And even though it was the high end cutlery that really put this type of steel on the market, many top of the line pocket, hunting, and tactical knives have used and are now using VG 10 steel. The reason that it makes such a good kitchen cutlery steel is because of how well it holds and edge as well as its ability to withstand rust. And while those are important characteristics of a kitchen knife, those characteristics will make your everyday carry knife stand apart from the pack. And because of how well this steel resists rust, you can often go longer periods of time without wiping or oiling them. The edge holding abilities are almost second to none. This steel is easy to sharpen, even a beginner will be able to pull it off, and you can get the finest edge on them. Not only that, but it holds that fine edge for very long periods of time. This steel also contains some vanadium, which is why this knife is so tough. This steel is also very durable and very hard without seeming brittle. The steel chosen for this blade is what helps to really set this blade apart.

This knife has been finished with a black TiNi coating. TiNi is short for Titanium Nitride. This is one of the best coating finishes that can be applied to steel. Not only does it provide the user with a smooth, black finish, it also works to increase durability. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as very peel resistant. This type of finish is actually applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air-sealed vacuum. Because it is applied in a vacuum, this finish is going to be one of the smoothest and most even coated finishes that you will come across. There will be no portions on the blade where the coating will have run or been applied to thick, especially around the edges. This is a top notch type of coating that won’t disappoint.

The steel has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes on the market today, and for good reason. You can use this blade shape for all purposes and it is extremely versatile. This shape of blade is most commonly found on the Bowie knife, but it is also very popular on pocket knives or fixed blades. To form this blade shape, the back, or the unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This portion looks as if it is “cut-out” or “clipped-out” and is where this knife shape gets its name form. This clipped out portion can be straight or curved, but on the Vision Arc, it is a very shallow curve. It almost looks straight, but it lacks the hard angles that would accompany a straight clipped area. The point on this blade shape is lowered, so you will have more control when you are suing this knife. Plus, because the tip is more controllable, sharper and thinner at the spine, this blade shape is perfect for quick stabbing, because it has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. Another reason that makes this such a perfect all-purpose knife is because of the large belly that it sports. The belly will easily assist you in your everyday tasks, which mostly include some form of slicing. The clip point blade shape is often confused with the drop point blade shape, because they are both pretty popular and great all-purpose knives. The biggest difference between the two different designs is the point. The drop point has a broader tip that provides you with more strength, but denies you the ability to pierce. The clip point blade shape has a much thinner point that lets you pierce very well. However, it doesn’t have as much strength behind it, and is prone to breaking fairly easily. This blade shape prepares you to perform all of the common, daily tasks that you might come across, such as opening boxes. But, it will also arm you to take on the unexpected challenges that you will come across as time goes by.

The Vision Arc sports a straight, or plain, edge. This style of edge is definitely the more traditional edge that can be found on knives. The straight edge excels at push cuts, slicing, peeling, and skinning. As a bonus, this type of edge is much easier to sharpen and you can get a finer edge on it. Some people are worried that if they don’t have a serrated edge, or a combo edge, that they won’t be able to cut through the tougher or thicker materials. While the serrated edge does help cut through the thicker materials because you can saw instead of slice, when the plain edge is sharp enough, it can also manage cutting through those tougher materials.

 

The Handle:

SOG Vision ARC
SOG Vision ARC

The handle on the Vision Arc is made out of black Glass Reinforced Nylon, or GRN. This material is a super strong, resistant to bending, abrasion, and is practically indestructible. Plus, it is relatively inexpensive. This is a similar material to G 10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, but it is much stronger. This is because in GRN, the fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout which means that it doesn’t matter which direction the handle is stressed, it is going to stand up to it. With the other materials that I mentioned, the fibers are all arranged in one direction, so they are extremely strong in that direction, but tend to fall apart when the fibers are stressed in other ways. This is why GRN is less brittle than the other materials. This is an inexpensive material because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and texture. Because of this, the manufacturer can produce high volume amounts at a lower price. However, many knife enthusiasts did not warm up to this material because they felt like it was cheap and plastic-y. One of the other drawbacks to this material is that it provides you with less grip than G 10 does.

To provide you with a stellar grip, SOG has added some intense texture throughout the palm portion of the handle. They have also carved “SOG” into the middle of the handle.

To keep your grip comfortable for long periods of use, SOG has added a medium deep finger groove. The rest of the handle is fairly straight. And to keep your grip safe and protected, SOG has added a finger guard to keep you from cutting your fingers.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is SOG’s classic style of pocket clip. It is skeletonized, with their logo in being carved out in the middle of the clip. This pocket clip is black to blend in with the all black knife and to match the black hardware. This is a low carry pocket clip, which means that it won’t be as snug in your pocket as a deep carry would. But, it is a reversible pocket clip, which means that you can carry it on the left or right side of the knife, helping ot make this an ambidextrous friendly knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a folding knife that sports the Arc-Lock. The Arc-Lock is ambidextrous. This locking mechanism uses a pivotal block to lock the blade into place. This is considered to be one of the finest locks available. This is a crazy strong locking system. SOG has tested this to withstand over 1000 pounds of force (measured at the lock), which far surpasses the conventional lock strength. This is also a very fast mechanism to use. Many people say that it is lightening quick, and because you can deploy this blade with only one hand, it helps everything go more efficiently. This is also a very safe locking mechanism to use. It uses spring action that securely retains the blade closed, and it keeps fingers safely clear while unlocking. This is also a very durable locking mechanism because it is self-adjusting over time and is easily cleaned for long term optimal performance.

 

The Specs:

The blade on the Vision Arc knife measures in at 3.8 inches in length. The blade has a thickness of 0.12 inches. The overall length of this knife is 8.5 inches, with a closed length of 4.7 inches. This is a slim knife and weighs in at 4.20 ounces.

 

Conclusion:

SOG knives and tools are built to last a lifetime. And not just a lifetime of performing the easy, daily tasks, but the unexpected tasks that accompany adventures. These knives have been field tested, so you can be confident when you are carrying a SOG knife. These knives are built to be durable, so that they can last with you through the ages. When you purchase a SOG knife, you are purchasing the only knife that you will need, but with the high quality that they are, you are going to want to buy a few more.

To perfect the Vision Arc knife, SOG started out with a premium steel that is durable, resistant to rust and corrosion, and can get a crazy fine edge that it holds onto for long periods of time. The handle is made out of the durable and lightweight GRN. Because the handle is so lightweight, you can easily have this knife with you at all times without it weighing you down. The reversible pocket clip and perfected locking mechanism are just the cherry on top of an already fantastic knife. Get yours today at BladeOps.

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SOG Banner Assist Knife Review

While many knife company stories begin with one person and their love of knives, this company begins years before that. It actually begins in Vietnam. This is where members of a highly classified US special ops unit known as MACV-SOG were fighting. These members needed special tools because they were working in the jungle on covert missions. So, they carried a unique combat knife. It was years later, in 1986, where that knife inspired a young designer, named Spencer Frazer, to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tool are field proven by US Special Forces, and has even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. These tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, honed for you. So whether you’re protecting others or leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s everyday challenges or facing your most extreme conditions yet, lead the way with SOG.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is cut out of CPM S35VN steel. This steel was made by Crucible and Chris Reeve. Years before, Crucible release the CPM S30V steel. This steel had excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. This was designed in the US and was typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. Because Crucible added vanadium carbides into the steel, it brought out the extreme hardness. This steel was considered to have the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, this was a tricky steel to sharpen, and that was the biggest complaint from knife lovers. That is why Chris Reeve and Crucible set out to improve it and improve it they did. In the S35VN steel, they added small quantities of niobium, which is where the N in the name comes from. They also chose to use a much finer grain structure. Because of these two changes, they were able to make the steel much easier to machine while also improving the toughness and the ability to sharpen this steel. This steel also resists rust effortlessly. When the first steel was so perfect, just imagine how excellent this improved version is.

The steel on the Banner was finished with a black TiNi finish. TiNi is short for Titanium Nitride. This is one of the best coatings that can be applied to a steel. Not only does it create a sleek, black look, it also works to increase durability of the steel. The TiNi finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as peel resistant. This finish is applied to the steel in a unique process of plasma deposition performed in a complete air-sealed vacuum. This means that the coating is applied as evenly as you will find; there are no spots where the finish will be uneven or where it ran, like a painted finish can get.

The steel on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape. This is a great all-purpose blade shape because of how versatile the blade shape is. It is also one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today. This blade shape is most commonly found on Bowie Knives, but it is also a popular blade shape on many pocket knives and fixed blade knives. The back, or unsharpened, edge of the knife runs straight form the handle and then stops about halfway up the knife. Then, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut out, or clipped out, which is where the knife gets its name from. This clipped out portion can be curved or straight, but on the Banner, it is a straight clipped out portion. The point on this blade shape is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control over your slices and while you are using the knife. Because the tip is controllable, and sharper and thinner at the spine, the clip point blade shape lends itself to quicker stabbing with less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. While the drop point and the clip point blade shapes are often confused, the biggest difference between the two is the point. On the drop point blade shape, the point is much broader and provides you with a lot more strength. However, because it is broader, you do not have any stabbing capabilities. The clip point blade shape features a much thinner blade point. So while you do possess stabbing capabilities with this blade shape, it is much weaker and more prone to breaking or snapping. With a drop point blade shape, you are able to perform harder or heavier duty tasks than with a clip point blade shape. One of the other reasons that this is such a versatile blade shape is that it features a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. One of the biggest features that you should look for in an everyday knife is one that can be used for slicing. The clip point blade shape helps make the Banner a perfect option for your everyday carry knife.

This blade features a plain edge. This means that it will be easier to sharpen and you will be able to get a finer edge on this knife. Plain edged blades are the perfect option if the tasks that you are looking to perform include a lot of push cuts. The Banner will also be able to skin, peel, and slice because of its plain edge. The Banner has truly been designed to make your everyday tasks much easier.

On the back of the knife blade, near the handle, there is a series of jimping.

 

The Handle:

SOG Banner Knife
SOG Banner Knife

The handle on this knife is made out of aluminum. Aluminum is anodized for a handful of reasons. One of the most obvious reasons that aluminum is anodized is to add a color to the metal. In the Banner’s case, SOG chose to anodize the handle black. A few of the other reasons that it has been anodize is to add hardness and protection. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when it is used of knife handles. Plus, this material is a low density metal. This means that you will have a nice, hefty feel to your knife without your knife actually weighing too much. When Aluminum is properly texturized, you can have a secure grip on your knife. Aluminum is also a comfortable material to use for extended use. One of the biggest drawbacks to aluminum is that it is a very cold material. So, if you are working in the winter months or a cold environment, this handle might feel like it is biting into your hand. It can be very uncomfortable because of its conductive properties. One of the other reasons that aluminum is such a good knife handle material is that it is extremely resistant to rusting or corroding. The last drawback to an aluminum handle is that it is very susceptible to scratches and dings.

To add texture to this handle, SOG has carved in three grooves into the palm portion of the handle. They have also carved “SOG” into the handle. To help keep your fingers safe and your hand comfortable, they have carved out a deep finger groove. This is the perfect place to rest your finger as you grip the handle. One of the other safety features that SOG has added is a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is skeletonized. In the middle of the pocket clip, SOG has added their logo, which is also skeletonized. The pocket clip on this knife is a low carry pocket clip, but it is a reversible pocket clip. This helps to make the Banner a little more ambidextrous friendly.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening knife. The assisted mechanism that supports you is a thumb stud. This is arguably the most common one hand opening feature. The thumb stud is employed by many companies and designers. A thumb stud essentially replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. The principle is pretty straightforward. You grasp the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud and extend your thumb to wing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. Knives with a thumb stud usually incorporate a locking mechanism of some sort. If the stud extends through the blade, the knife can be opened with either hand.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife is 3.5 inches long. The overall length of this knife is 7.1 inches long, with a closed length of 4.6 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.6 ounces. This knife was designed and made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Banner:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is excellent at holding an edge.
  • The steel chosen for the blade resists rust effortlessly.
  • The steel chosen for the blade is very durable.
  • The blade’s steel is easy to machine and sharpen.
  • The steel is very tough, yet still durable.
  • The steel is hard, yet not brittle, which is a rarer combination to find.
  • The coating is applied in a vacuum, so you don’t get buildup of painted on coating.
  • Because the coating is applied in a vacuum setting, the coating is extremely even.
  • The coating is one of the most quality coating finishes, and will take much more to scratch off the coating.
  • The aluminum handle is extremely durable.
  • The aluminum handle is very resistant to rusting or corroding.
  • The aluminum handle makes maintenance a breeze.
  • The pocket clip is reversible.
  • The aluminum handle has plenty of texture added to it, to provide you with a very secure grip.
  • The aluminum handle provides you with a very hefty feel, but it is actually a very lightweight handle material.
  • The handle has a finger groove and a finger guard to keep you safe.
  • The clip point blade shape is versatile.
  • The clip point blade shape provides you with stabbing capabilities.
  • The clip point blade shape gives you a large belly that is perfect for slicing.
  • The thumb stud makes it a breeze to open your knife one handedly.

 

The Cons of the Banner:

  • Because it is a coating finish, the black will eventually scratch off.
  • The pocket clip is a low carry pocket clip.
  • The aluminum handle is a very cold material, so if you are trying to use this knife in a cold environment, it will feel like its biting into your hand.
  • The clip point blade shape has a weak tip that is prone to breaking or snapping.

 

Conclusion:

SOG’s story begins in Vietnam with a group of special ops that had to carry a special knife. Years later, Spencer Frazer found that knife and wanted to recreate it. At the beginning of SOG, there was only one knife and it was the tribute knife. But as they became a more popular company, they began to design and sell many other types of knives. Now, when you purchase a SOG knife, you know you are getting your money’s worth because these knives have been field tested for you.

For this perfect knife, SOG started out with a premium steel that has the perfect balance between edge retention, hardness, and toughness. Plus, it resists rust effortlessly and maintenance is a piece of cake. The handle is made out of aluminum, which is an incredibly durable material that also requires very little maintenance. The thumb stud allows you to open your knife with only one hand and the pocket clip is reversible. The reversible pocket clip helps to make this knife ambidextrous friendly. This everyday carry knife is truly a game changer. Get yours today at BladeOps.

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SOG Kiku Assisted Knife Review

The story about how SOG came to be begins long before SOG existed. The story actually begins in Vietnam, with members of a highly classified US special ops unit, known as MACV-SOG. These members needed to carry a unique combat knife because most of their covert missions were in the jungle. It was years later, in 1986, that Spencer Frazer came across this bowie knife. The knife inspired him to found SOG Specialty Knives. His mission for the company was to reproduce the original SOG Bowie knife and pay tribute to the special ops unit that created it. What began as a single commemorative model soon became a full line of innovative tools. These tools have been filed proven by the US Special Forces and have even been honored as the Navy SEAL knife of choice.

Today, SOG knives are carried with confidence into the most demanding situations. It doesn’t matter if you are protecting others, leading an epic hunting expedition, tackling one of life’s every day challenges, or facing your most extreme conditions yet, you should lead the way with SOG. This tools are forged out of tradition, hardened in the field, and honed for you.

Spencer Frazer is the founder and chief designer at SOG. He has always been a creative person who has had a great curiosity of how things worked. While he was in the Boy Scouts, he gained an affinity for knives and axes, but it was much later in his life that that interest would be channeled into actually creating knives and tools. He graduated from UCLA as a math and science major and started his own company in the professional audio industry. Then he went on to work in the aerospace defense industry as a n R&D tool/die and model maker. He also became involved in the modern art movement and began meeting with top artists. This is where he learned about scale and color. Spencer feels as if all of his life experiences converged the moment Spencer saw his first Vietnam SOG Bowie. He has said, “the knife was magical in how it looked and felt. You could see the history as well as the functional aspects of the this knife.” Later on, Spencer said, “We don’t settle for ordinary. We never did, and we never will.”

Recently, SOG has released a brand new knife called the Kiku Assisted, and let me tell you, it is anything but ordinary.

SOG Kiku Assist Knife
SOG Kiku Assist Knife

The Blade:

The blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel. This steel is a well-known, high end Japanese steel. This steel is considered premium, in fact, the G in the name stands for “gold” because this steel has reached a “gold standard”. This steel was designed for high quality blades that are used in kitchen cutlery. One of the reasons that makes this steel such a great option for kitchen knives is it’s ability to withstand rust and corrosion. People who use this blade every single day, can go about a week without washing or oiling the blade and the blade still refuses to rust. But, that feature also comes in handy in other knife types, so this stainless steel has been used for top of the line hunting, pocket, and tactical knives. This type of steel always excels. This steel can also take a crazy sharp edge. Not only can you get a crazy sharp edge on the knife, but it is a very easy steel to sharpen. Most beginners will be able to pull off sharpening this knife. And the last major benefit to the edge on this steel is that it holds an edge for long periods of time. This is also a very durable knife and because of the vanadium in the steel, it is also known for its toughness. A big benefit to this type of steel is that it is a very hard steel but it doesn’t seem to be brittle.

There are two different finishes that you can choose from when purchasing this blade. The first option is a black TiNi finish. This is short for Titanium Nitride. This is actually the very best coating finish that can be applied to steel. The main purpose that it achieves is adding a sleek, black finish to the knife as well as increasing durability. This type of finish is known to be both extremely scratch resistant as well as extremely peel resistant. Something that makes this type of coated finish unique is that it is applied to the steel through a unique process of plasma deposition that is performed in a completely air-sealed vacuum. This sets the TiNi finish apart from the other finish in the manner of how smooth and even the finish is on the steel. A big complaint about many of the coated finishes is that near the edges, it appears as if the coating has run or built up, but you won’t get that with this finish.

The other finish option that you have is a satin finish. This is a semi-shiny finish with a luster falling between bead blasted, which is matte, and mirror polish, which is a high gloss. This is the most popular finish on production knife blades. It excels at showing off the fine lines of the steel. This is a very classic finish.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape isn’t designed to be an all-purpose knife, it is designed to do one thing and one thing really well. The tanto shape has been designed for piercing through tough materials. This type of blade was originally designed for piercing through armor and is similar to the Japanese long and short swords. However, in the early 80’s Cold Steel modernized it and popularized it. To form the shape, the tanto has a high point with a flat grind, leading to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The point is much thicker than most knife shapes and contains a lot of metal near the tip. Because of those two characteristics, it is able to absorb the impact from repeated piercing that would cause most other knives to snap or break. The front edge of the blade meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. This means that the tanto shape does not have a belly. Because the shape is lacking a belly, slicing is not going to be as smooth, and these knives are not as useful in a general utility sense. But, because you sacrifice the belly, you get a much stronger tip that can be used in tough situations. One of the other drawbacks to this knife is that it is harder to control the point.

This knife sports a straight edge. There are a variety of benefits about having a straight, or plain, edge. Some of them are that they excel at push cuts (which are the more common cuts), they are easier to sharpen, you can get a finer edge on them, they can peel, they can slice, and they can skin. The straight edge is definitely the more traditional edge. Some people are worried that they aren’t going to be able to cut through the tougher or thicker materials, because with a serrated edge, you can saw through those. While serrated edges do perform better in those situations, if your straight edge is sharp enough, it will be able to manage those same tasks. And because the blade on the Kiku Assisted is made out of VG-10 steel, you will be able to manage those tasks.

 

SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin
SOG Kiku Assist Kknife, Satin

The Handle:

The handle on this knife has been made out of a linen Micarta. This is a material that has been made with the organic compound Phenol, which is a type of resin. To make the Micarta, thin layers of linen cloths are soaked in a phenolic resin, which makes a product that is lightweight, strong, and looks a little classier than G-10. This material was actually originally introduced to the world as an electrical insulator and is now one of the best plastics out there for making knife handles. However, Micarta actually has no surface texture and is very slippery and smooth. This means that it requires a lot of hand labor to produce and then carve some sort of texture into the knife handle. This makes Micarta a pricier material, which means that your knife is going to be more expensive because of it. The linen Micarta on the Kiku Assisted knife is a green Micarta that has plenty of grooves carved into the spine and the bottom of the handle. These grooves will provide you with a secure grip in most situations. This is a brittle material that can break if impacted with a very hard or very sharp object. To keep your fingers safe, there is an elongated, shallow finger groove and a finger guard.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on the Kiku Assisted knife is the classic SOG pocket clip. It has been skeletonized because “SOG” has been carved into the middle of it. This is a low carry clip that is reversible. This means that you can carry it on either the traditional or nontraditional side of the knife, helping to make this knife ambidextrous. This is a black pocket clip that matches the black hardware on this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This is an assisted opening folding knife. The assisted mechanism on it is the thumb stud. The thumb stud is a small stud that lies on the butt of the blade, near the handle. The thumb stud sits on the side of the blade near where the blade pivots on the handle. This makes for an easy and smooth opening operation. This is also one of the most common opening mechanisms on the market. This is a very comfortable way to open your knife with only one hand. However, the drawback to having the thumb stud mechanism is that it puts your hand very close to moving blade. There are plenty of people who have slipped while deploying their knife and slicing their thumb. While using a thumb stud, you do have to be careful.

This knife also sports the SOG Assisted Technology, which works through the balance of opposing high tension coil springs. As you initiate the opening action, the force propelling your blade open becomes greater than the force keeping it closed. The result is a blade that springs open instantly once it is engaged, seemingly on its own.

The Kiku Assisted knife sports a button lock.

 

The Specs:

The Kiku Assisted boasts a blade that is 3.5 inches long with a blade thickness of 0.12 inches. When the knife is closed, it measures in at 4.6 inches, and has an overall length of 8.1 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This knife originated in Taiwan.

 

Conclusion:

SOG has a reputation of designing and building trusted knives that can take a beating. They build durable knives to get you through not only your everyday tasks, but also the challenges that accompany any adventure. These knives are field tested, so you know that they are going to be able to take on whatever you throw at them. These tools are tools that you can trust and rely on. The Kiku Assisted knife is no different.

To create an impeccable knife, they started out with one of the highest quality steels. This steel is easy to sharpen, you can get a crazy sharp edge, and the edge will last long. Because of how stainless this steel is, maintenance is a breeze. The tanto style blade is the perfect blade for piercing through even the toughest of materials. The handle is durable and strong, but also lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about this knife weighing you down. The thumb stud is an efficient way to get this knife open and you don’t have to worry about it closing on you because of the button lock. Get your brand new Kiku Assisted today at BladeOps.

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SOG Mini Instinct Knife

Looking for a great neck knife?  Look no further than the new SOG Mini Instinct.  Available with a skeletonized or a G10 handle (as pictured), the Mini Instinct boasts a 1.9″ clip point blade.  Built for heavy use, this fantastic knife is ideal for neck, pocket or gear bag carry and allows you to have all the power and cutting strength of a big knife in a small package.

SOG Mini Instinct
SOG Mini Instinct

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Overall Length: 4.8″
  • Blade Length: 1.9″
  • Blade Thickness: .16″
  • Weight: 1.60 oz
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Hardness: 53-57RC
  • Blade Steel: 5Cr15MoV
  • Blade Style: Clip Point
  • Edge: Plain
  • Handle: G10
  • Sheath: Hard Molded Nylon
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SOG Flashback Assist Knife Review

SOG Flashback Assist Knife
SOG Flashback Assist Knife

SOG Knives has been producing ultra thin assist and automatic knives for several years.  Their SOG-TAC and SPEC-Elite lines of automatic knives have been consistently delighting everyday and tactical users around the world.  When you order one of the ultra thin knives from SOG you get a high quality knife built from top quality materials.

The Flashback Assist knives are no exception to the standard that has been set by previous knives from SOG Knives.  In fact, the Flashback series builds on an already strong platform of quality and excellence.  The Flashback knife has an AUS 8 stainless steel blade with either a satin finish or the TiNi black finish.  You can pick it up with a tanto or drop point blade.  The mini Flashback is also available.

The handle on the Flashback is stainless steel wrapped around a glass reinforced nylon frame.  This gives you all the strength of stainless steel and the weight reduction of GRN.  The ultra thin handle is less than 1/2″ thick–which is absolutely incredible.  This, combined with the reversible deep carry pocket clip make this one of the most unobtrusive knives you can possibly carry on a daily basis.  You almost won’t even know you have it in your pocket.  Throw in the fact that it only weighs 3.7 ounces and you have a powerful tool that isn’t going to weigh you down.   And yet, because it has such top quality construction, you have a knife that is going to handle whatever you throw at it.  Use it hard and it will continue to perform.

Here are five things that make this knife great.  First, it is amazingly thin and light which means it isn’t going to gobble up pocket real estate and it isn’t going to weigh you down.  Second, the knife has an AUS 8 blade which will give you all the cutting power you need on a daily basis.  Third, the knife feels good in your hand.  It is built for maximum gripability and control.  It has jimping and curves in all the right places.  Fourth, the price is right–at this price you can pick up one for you and one for your friend.  Fifth, the deep carry pocket clip means that you can carry this one without blaring that fact to the world.  And the bonus reason is that SOG Knives are built tough and they back it up with a limited lifetime warranty.

SOG Knives just keeps producing top quality, every day carry, tactical knives for prices that almost command you to purchase them.  Get over to our website and pick up your new SOG Flashback assist knife right here.  And rest easy knowing that your new knife will continue to perform to the quality standards that SOG Knives is so well known for.


SPECIFICATIONS:

Overall Length: 8″
Blade Length: 3.5″
Blade Thickness: .125″
Blade Steel: AUS 8
Blade Style: Drop Point, Plain
Blade Finish: Hardcase Black TiNi
Weight: 3.7 oz

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Favorite New SOG Assist Knife of 2014–Trident Elite TF-102

SOG Trident Elite TF-102
SOG Trident Elite TF-102–Assist Knife with hardcase black TiNi finished blade

SOG has come out with several new knives in 2014.  My favorite new assist knife from SOG is the Trident Elite series.  The Trident has been around for several years.  In fact, a couple of years ago we carried an exclusive model the TF12 with camo handle and a black tanto blade.  I really like the Trident series–always have.  I especially like the new Trident Elite knives for a couple of reasons.

The first thing you notice about the Trident Elite is the handle.  Built of the same glass filled nylon, the handle is lightweight–yet incredibly strong.  But the new models have a rubber inlay in three locations on both sides of the handle.  This adds a layer of grip security and comfort that is surprisingly good.  The handle inlays have a texture pattern that feels similar to a basketball.  I like the feel and the extra anti-slip protection it adds.

The second major change with the new Trident Elite is the addition of a glass breaker on the front of the handle.  That’s right–on the front.  When the blade is open, the glass breaker just sits alongside the blade.  When the blade is closed, it is ready for action.

The third thing I love about the new Trident is the deep carry clip that SOG has switched over to using on their new model knives.  This new clip is curved and wide.  It has much better strength to hold onto your pants pocket but it also feels better.  I would think it will wear better also because it has no sharp corners.

The next change is the jimping on the spine.  It goes nearly two thirds of the length of the blade.  At first glance, I thought it was an appearance thing.  But then I realized it allows you to get a really good grip with your thumb even if you have to choke way up on the knife.  You can put your thumb about halfway or even more down the length of the blade and still keep great control over the blade–even when making strong slicing style cuts.  The jimping is slightly rounded for comfort.

The Trident Elite also has the newest generation of SOG’s Assisted Technology.  I have to admit, the old system seemed pretty good to me.  The new system is even better.  Just a bit faster, it also feels more solid.

Overall, I think the new Trident Elite is sure to be a huge hit.  It will especially appeal to those looking for a mid to large pocket folder with assist capability who want their knife to be lightweight yet strong and to have a definite tactical feel to them.  Every Trident also has the strap cutter slot on the spine that uses the blade as a strap cutter when it is closed.  Perfect for every day use, emergencies, as well as a tactical deployment knife.  The Trident Elite by SOG is a great new addition to their spectacular line of knives.  Find yours here.  And let me know what you think below.

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